After five years since the the restoration of The Lady Chapel and historic Herkenrode Glass began at Lichfield Cathedral, the reconstruction process has drawn to an end.
The completion of the £3.7million project will be celebrated with a rededication service on 10th March, which will be attended by the Duke of Gloucester.
Speaking of the restoration process, The Dean of Lichfield said: “Completing this project is quite a milestone in the Cathedral’s history. We hope our efforts will mean that the east end of the Cathedral is in good shape for another hundred years or so… We have kept faith with our predecessors by looking after a priceless treasure and we hand it on to the future with the best of our care and generosity.”
Lichfield Cathedral has been a place of worship for 1,300 years. Located in the heart of England, Lichfield Cathedral was once at the centre of the Kingdom of Mercia. In 669AD Chad was made Bishop of Mercia, and he moved his episcopal See to Lichfield.
In the years following his death in 672, the church saw many changes. The Saxon church was replaced by a Norman Cathedral in the twelfth century, then it was changed into a Gothic Cathedral in 1195. The Cathedral continued to progress over time and the addition of The Lady Chapel adorned with medieval stained glass was made.
Bishop Hacket restored the Cathedral in the 1660s, and William Wyatt made even more changes in the eighteenth century.
The stained glass within The Lady Chapel was destroyed during the Civil War. In order to replace what was lost during the seventeenth century, Herkenrode Glass was brought to England in 1803. The Herkenrode Glass bought by the Cathedral is thought to be some of the finest medieval Flemish Painted Glass in existence.
Yet the biggest improvements came from Sir George Gilbert Scott, the Cathedral Architect from 1855 – 1878. He was responsible for its successful restoration into a form of marvellous Medieval architecture.
The most recent restoration project of the Cathedral has included repairing stonework in the South and North Choir aisles, replacing some of the external stonework of The Lady Chapel. It has also included the renewal of fabrics, including kneelers, cushions, hangings, and the altar frontal, along with the much anticipated revival of The Lady Chapel’s Herkenrode Glass windows.